When you hear that the mother of a missing toddler has been arrested, what's the first thing that pops into your head? That the mother was somehow involved in the disappearance of her child? Well, the mother of missing 2-year-old Myra Lewis has indeed been arrested, but as far as cops in Madison County, Mississippi are concerned, Ericka Lewis' arrest has nothing to do with her daughter's disappearance.
In fact, the only thing mom is charged with is a probation violation, completely unrelated to her missing toddler. But is that really something the cops need to deal with now? Even as the FBI is so worried about the little girl that they've set up a national call for information and issued a $20,000 reward for anything that gets little Myra home to her family?
Cops in Madison County are chalking it all up to bad timing coupled with a need to follow the law. You see, while they were investigating the little girl's disappearance from outside her home on March 1, they say they found weapons in the Lewis home. Because Ericka Lewis has a felony welfare fraud charge on her record, that's a violation of her probation.
Fair enough. It sounds like she deserves some sort of comeuppance in a court room. I'm not excusing a felon living in a home with firearms by any means. I certainly don't think justice should turn a blind eye here.
But I'm with the Lewis family: I think this could have waited.
It's been nearly two weeks since this woman has seen her 2-year-old! The little girl was last seen outside her home, playing with a sibling, and then, poof, she was gone.
It's a mother's worst nightmare, and this poor woman is living it. If you think about it, she's already being punished, in a way far worse than anything a court can throw at her. Life in prison has nothing on not knowing where your child is or what might have happened to her. At the very least, the cops could have told mom there will be hell to pay down the road ... and then backed off and let her deal with the hell she's already living in.
Because let's be real: this is hell. The FBI seems to be holding out hope that Myra is still alive -- the agent speaking to the press about the reward even used the words "Myra's return" -- but until someone comes forward, the Lewises just have to wait.
Want to help mom? Share Myra's photo! Anyone with information can call the FBI at 601-948-5000 or the Madison County Sheriff’s Department at 601-859-2345.
What do you think should have been done here? Should the cops have held off on the arrest or did they do the right thing?
Image via FBI